Hacking Gamification

Bing Gordon, KPCB
@bingfish @kpcb

Why Gamify?

Game patterns are the new normal

2 -10x improvement
Acquire

1 2 3
Engage

Retain

Decades of Gaming

Acquire

First Five Seconds

Acquire

“I am smart—this is what I expected.”

1

“First” Matters
First Session

“This is fun—what I expected, only better.” “I know what I am doing—and I like it.”

Acquire

1

“First” Rules
• Win first, win fast • Give them a reason to return • Send invites (if you love it)

Acquire

1

The Original “Touch”

Pinball Construction Set 1983

The New “Shelf”

Acquire

1

Acquire

1

10:1

Acquire

1

Just as in SEM…

The landing screen is everything.

Acquire

1

Reduce bounce by

90%
Before install: After first five seconds:

Sketch what you expect to see…

Is this what you expected?

Acquire

1

Frames Are Wine Labels

Acquire

1

Interface is the Engine
NASCAR “draft meter”: 2x

Acquire

1

Interface Toys Work

Wants and fears spinner of Sims 2

Acquire

1

“Opt in” Complexity

Open style menus of Sim Golf

Acquire

1

FB Profiles = Social
15M not 1M for Zynga Poker

Acquire

1

Friend Bar Mechanic

70M, not 2M for Farmville

Acquire

1

Virality: The New Marketing
Incentives
Virtual goods Games: imbue value in VG

Invites
Incented invites
-- 4 -10x (watch for TOS!)

Incented installs +25%

Acquire

1

Virality: The New Marketing

Take Aways
10x 90% Touchable “box”
» I feel smart » Win first, win fast

Acquire

1

Bounce reduction

2x 4-10x

Interface = engine Viral design

Engage

Wow!!!
1x first two sessions

Engage

2

Good!!
1 to 3x first session

Design Beats
Yuck!
0x first session

Oh F*#@!
Never

Engage

2

Wither Factor
First Successful Time Pressure

Engage

2

Identity

The Most Precious Asset

Engage

2

Who Are You?

Build a Profile: Identity, career score key.

Engage

2

Like Going Out
Take 30 minutes

Engage

2

Power of Personalization

Tiger Woods Golf: +50%

Engage

2

Live Life in Levels

Engage

2

Show Numbers

Engage

2

Badges Rule
• • • I have 600+ 2x hours/week 75% female, average age 42

Engage

2

Trophies Matter

Engage

2

Yearning for Recognition

Sim City: 20,000 uploaded cities “They all look the same!”

“Aileen City is such a great place to live. The parks are beautiful and the highways are never jammed. Come to Aileen City!”

Engage

2

UGC
city, it is an economic dynamo!”

Text #1

1% upload | 25% download
“Joe City is a towering spectacle of glass and concrete. It is not just a

“You have to watch the citizens to understand Jennville. They shop, they bustle, their houses are perfect.”

Engage

2

Co-Op Crushes Competition 3:1

Engage

2

Gifts 30x Brags

Engage

2

Party of 5
20 - 30% productivity gains

Design Principles
• Value what you make, value what you earn • Golf courses should look hard, play easy • 90% of players are 90% of the way • Constraints are fun

Engage

2

• Experts fail fast; everyone else wins fast, wins first

Take Aways
2x Great second session Viewable profiles Badges, achievements Numbers, stats for 10-25% 4x “Invest” and avoid “wither” UGC for 25% of players Social obligation for 25% of players

Engage

2

Retain

3
Probabilistic, too. Lessons from the Skinner Box. 2 currencies (Las Vegas)

Retain

Multiple, Parallel Goals

3
Look Ahead

Retain

Will she come back? When? What will she do in the second session? Will she be playing a month from now? What will she expect?

3
“Pinch”
Resource Management in Farmville

Retain

3

Retain

Constraints & Quantity

3
Pre-Announcements
World of Warcraft -- 0% churn from level 35-40, 55-60 (mount, elder game) Pre-register at retail -- 10-20% of first week sales

Retain

Huge

3
Content Updates Sell
Correlated to quality

Retain

Madden Football
• 70% repeat if “game of the year” • 30% repeat purchase if “liquid AI is what’s running down their legs”

3
The Sims expansions
• • 16 expansions, 50M units 60% ARPU increase

Retain

Content Updates Sell

3
Social Obligations
• Madden
– “You can’t convert the whole fraternity.”

Retain

Lock-In

• Guilds
– Appointment gaming – Peer pressure and privileges – Marriages (and divorce)

• Asynchronous: 4x more than simultaneous

3
Magic Numbers
Twitter
• • 40% 1 month retention 90%-ish monthly retention if 10 followers

Retain

Facebook
• 20 friends • 70% “long term” retention

3
Virtual Assets : 3x Factor
Ultima Online House owners - 3 years

Retain

Madden sequels • 2x for high quality • Use “NPS” (Net Promoter Score) • % recommend - % who wouldn’t

3

Retain

Quality Matters
Metacritic.com
• 80 - 85 = Top 50 • +50 -100% for each +5 points

Design Principles
• Show numbers • Look ahead • Pinch • Constraints are fun • Pre-Announcements • Content updates sell

3

Retain

3
Take Aways
Do the Math

Retain

• 4x: Pinch and “look ahead” game mechanics • 100%: Pre-announce (for a month) • 50%: New content, if same quality as original

3

Retain

Take Aways
• 20%: Social structures: – 90% less churn for players who are “well-guilded” • 15%: Virtual assets – 67% less churn for players who are “well-castled”

New Media, New Rules
“The best way to keep someone playing forever is to have them play today.” -- Bing

Real World Gamification

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